As a general rule of thumb, ever since Liam Neeson reinvented himself as one of the industry’s most popular action stars with Taken, his signature brand of mid budget thrillers have been much more enjoyable than his forays into effects-driven blockbuster territory.
The actor’s legacy will forever see his career split into the pre and post-Taken phases, where he threw off the shackles of his reputation as a dignified character actor capable of bringing gravitas to even the most mundane of projects, morphing into a genuine box office draw and beloved ass-kicker.
Despite his track record of success, it hasn’t always been plain sailing, with Joe Carnahan’s The A-Team a notable blemish during the veteran’s Indian summer into running and gunning. On paper, it had all of the ingredients to be a major smash hit; Neeson and Bradley Cooper provided the star power, Sharlto Copley was the manic wildcard and the premise presented a blank canvas on which to create a broad action comedy that also tapped the nostalgia vein.
The cast was solid, the concept was sky high and the potential was there, but The A-Team simply didn’t deliver. A box office haul of $177 million on a $110 million budget was poor to say the least, while reviews were equally tepid. A 49% critical and 66% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes is not the stuff multi-film franchises are made of, and any plans for a sequel were quickly scrapped.
However, the 2010 Fox effort has been finding a new lease of life on Disney Plus, where it’s managed to reach as high as fifth place on the platform’s most-watched list, as per FlixPatrol.